School District 25's longstanding battle over balancing its budget has resulted in 19 job cuts among teachers and other program specialists within the district.
On Tuesday night's meeting the board voted to eliminate three physical education programs at the elementary level. With that, some first-year teachers also will not be returning this next school year either.
However, with many other programs on the chopping block, the district's three media specialist positions fell safe and will be secured for at least one more year.
School District Superintendent Mary Vagner said they have done everything they could to explore all of their resources to present alternatives to those who will not be returning back to work in the fall.
“We've looked at openings that have occurred in various locations and looked at how people have multiple uses and how we can slot people into varying jobs,” Vagner said.
Some of those who are facing the cuts have not yet been notified, so we have been asked not to list specifications about the other jobs and programs that have been eliminated.
These cuts will allow the district close to $1.45 million to balance their budget by their June deadline.
Vagner said the school district's board members have been pleading with state lawmakers to provide them the proper funding they need, but to no avail.
“We have asked for discretionary funding, we have asked for funding to help us pay our bills, and we did not get the funding to do that,” Vagner said.
She attributes the lack of funding to philosophical differences between the legislature and the school districts across the state who have also been facing the same monetary circumstances.
Vagner also pointed out how D25 has had to start cutting positions nearly four years ago. She equated the situation to various layers of rings, where they had to start cutting from the outer-most ring and are now seeing themselves cutting from the nucleus itself.
“There is very little left other than the core of the classroom.”
Vagner also said they plan to meet with state legislators in December to negotiate an increase to their next annual budget.
The board will hold a budget hearing on June 18 before they adopt the new budget by law. The new fiscal year will begin July 1.
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Here is a link to one of the previous stories for more context: http://www.localnews8.com/news/-Fix-It-creates-financial-hurdles-for-some-school-districts/-/308662/19688464/-/10vwpwuz/-/index.html